Young Muslim Women in India
Routledge – 2014 – 192 pages
Series: ASAA Women in Asia Series
The reality for marginalized Muslim girls in the city of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) in India is far more complex than the one that is often constructed during discussions that view the lives of Muslim girls through a lens of repression and poverty within the patriarchal Islamic community. Based on extensive, original research, this book portrays a different and an under-represented perspective of young Muslim girls in the bustees (shanty towns) of Kolkata. Through a series of personal narratives, photos and artwork, it demonstrates that in spite of the dominant discourse surrounding their lives, the consumption and behaviour patterns of young women in these bustees challenge the monolithic representations of what it means to be a Muslim girl in Indian society. It explores the ways in which the young Muslim women live, manipulate, and resist the stereotypes of Islamic femininity by carefully negotiating the risks and performing multiple identities inspired by modernity, globalization and, most of all, Bollywood culture.
1 Introduction 2 explores he complexity of Bollywood consumption and the discourses of modernity in the traditional social environment of the bustees Chapter 3 depicts how girls perform risky Bollywood dance and a modern dance identity while negotiating their ‘good Muslim’ identities Chapter 4 explores how girls use Bollywood to learn about romantic relationships, and strategically negotiate risk in order to engage in heterosexual dating, love and sexual encounters Chapter 5 explores young people’s relationship with consumption, specifically Bollywood-inspired consumption of food, clothing and technology 6 Conclusion
Kabita Chakraborty is Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Asia Pacific Social Transformation Studies, University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia.